Espreso. Global

Ukrainian woman murdered in Germany: suspect from Russia and other details of the case

19 March, 2024 Tuesday

In early March, a tragic incident took place in Germany, resulting in the death of Marharyta Razaz, a Ukrainian refugee. Although Marharyta’s child, Mia, was found unharmed, her mother, Maryna Stetsenko, remains missing. Divers have been enlisted to aid in the search efforts

Espreso provides an overview of the latest developments in this high-profile case, potentially involving a Russian suspect.

Information on Marharyta Razaz and her family

Originally from Karlivka in the Poltava region, Marharyta later resided in Kharkiv. She was involved in food floristry, showcasing her creations—bouquets made from candy and other items—on her Facebook profile.

Marharyta's mother. Photo: social media

Marharyta Razaz. Photo: social media

Marharyta's work. Photo: social media

After the invasion, Marharyta’s family fled Ukraine to seek refuge in the Rhine-Neckar area.

A 27-year-old Ukrainian woman's body was found on March 7 in Hockenheim, Baden-Württemberg, along the Rhine embankment. An examination determined that she died violently.

Police quickly identified the suspects as 43-year-old Russian Inna and 44-year-old Marko, both employed at a butcher's shop, according to BILD. The family was last seen with these individuals at a restaurant. The likely motive for the crime is believed to be the abduction of a Ukrainian child.

The Russian trace in the murder of Marharyta Razaz

Police believe the couple likely planned the murder in advance. Marko had informed his colleagues that his newborn baby was in intensive care. Months earlier, they had openly discussed the upcoming birth of their daughter with neighbors and coworkers.

The Russian woman and the German man lived in a quiet area on the outskirts of Sandhausen (Baden-Württemberg). Their home and yard were well-maintained, and described as idyllic by German media.

A neighbor of the suspected killers mentioned that the couple already had three sons aged 8 to 18. 

"In December, he told me they were expecting a girl in January. He proudly showed me a pink baby hat, though his wife didn't appear pregnant. I never expected such a crime. The couple were always very polite," said the neighbor.

Police have sealed the door to the house.

Another neighbor observed several cars outside the house on Wednesday evening, with masked individuals getting out. 

"My neighbor was sitting in front of the house with his hands tied. I only realized it was a police operation when I called the police," said another neighbor.

According to Ukrainian media, Marharyta, her baby, and Maryna Stetsenko were last seen in a restaurant, possibly accompanied by a Waldorf woman.

A family acquaintance mentioned that this woman had offered Ukrainian refugees help with paperwork on social media. It's unclear if she has been apprehended.


Photo: Screenshot 

What the police are saying

Currently, 60 police officers are working on the special commission "Rampe," which was set up to investigate the death of a Ukrainian woman. They have already gathered around fifty testimonies.

The search for the woman's mother in Hockenheim is ongoing. The 51-year-old mother of the victim is considered a key witness in the case. Searches are being conducted along the banks of the Rhine.

Photo: Screenshot

At present, there is no precise information about her whereabouts, said a representative of the Mannheim police on March 18. German law enforcement officials state they are exploring all possible leads and do not rule out the possibility that she may also be deceased. Police divers are currently scouring the reservoir near Bad Schönborn for the mother's body, but have yet to find any trace. Search efforts in this area will continue.

According to the police, two suspects, the Russian and the German, are currently in custody. They appear to be unwilling to disclose any information about the grandmother's location. The investigation also considers the possibility of other accomplices.

Concerning the child who lost her mother

Little Mia is now safe and under the care of the youth service. According to the prosecutor's office, the girl is unharmed.

  • It's worth noting that another tragic murder occurred last month in Germany. On February 10, an unidentified assailant attacked two Ukrainians with a knife at the Oberhausen railway station. 17-year-old basketball player Volodymyr Yermakov succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.
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